If you've read most of these reports about this slip-shod company, you've probably come to the healthy conclusion that they're not the brightest bulb in the shed. Here's yet another example of the insanity that is Western Dental.
I took my 18-year-old son over to WD here in Merced for a chipped molar, simply because getting an appointment with our regular dentist down in Madera takes a few months at best. So, in we go. The FIRST thing that struck me as odd was that, on their initial forms packet they have you fill out, they ask for two "personal references". WTF is THAT about!? He's not applying for a job, he wants his tooth fixed! Secondly, they never gave him copies of what he had to sign, which I'm almost positive they're required to do by law.
After about a half-hour wait, we were escorted back to x-ray by one of the "flunkies" (I'm being as nice as I can here!). She stated that since my son was a new patient, he'd need 16 x-rays. HUH? "Um, pardon me, but where's the Panorex?" I asked her. (For those of you that don't know, a Panorex is an x-ray machine that takes the x-ray in a semi-circle around your mouth, while your head remains stationary! I've had a few of these done, it's pretty cool!) Evidently; 1 - They don't have one, and 2 - She definitely didn't know how they're used, since she started talking about them only being used for diagnosing. Okay! Next on Sportscenter!
She then informed me that, because of some new privacy and HIPPA rules, I couldn't go back to the treatment area with my son, even though he wanted me with him. I asked her if that was their policy for minors as well (since I was also scoping this place out for dental care for my 5-year-old daughter!), she said yes. That means that my baby girl would have her VERY first dental experience, scary as it will probably be, without us able to be back there with her, and I'm supposed to just trust these morons. How about....NOOO! Trust is an EARNED commodity, especially where my baby girl is concerned!
To make the long story short, my son goes back to the treatment area, I go out to the relatively clean waiting area. About 15 minutes later, he comes out, shaking his head. Seems the dentist told him what we already knew; the tooth is chipped at the base, needs a filling. (DUH!) Wants my son to come back for another appointment for the filling. We told them nope, we'll have it done by our regular guy down south.
16 x-rays? Two personal references? No Panorex? Folks, even if your pet HAMSTER needs dental care, don't take him to Western Dental. I wouldn't refer my WORST ENEMY to them! There ARE good "regular" dentists out there that take Denti-Cal, you just have to do a bit of searching, and it's probably worth the search.